TKTL1 modulates the response of paclitaxel-resistant human ovarian cancer cells to paclitaxel

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Sep 5;503(2):572-579. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.06.011. Epub 2018 Jun 11.


Transketolase-like 1 (TKTL1) plays an important role in the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) branch. The main obstacle of ovarian cancer treatment is chemotherapeutic resistance. We investigated whether inhibiting TKTL1 in OC3/TAX300 cells could re-sensitize paclitaxel-resistant cells to paclitaxel and proposed a mechanism of action. Western blotting revealed that TKTL1 expression levels in OC3/Tax300 cells were significantly higher than those in OC3 cells. Inhibition of TKTL1 significantly decreased the cellular proliferation rate and IC50 for paclitaxel. Metabolomics revealed that NADPH levels were reduced in the si-TKTL1 group, whereas NADP+ was increased compared with the level in the negative si-TKTL1 group. A 2.2-fold increase in the ROS level and an obvious increase in the cell apoptosis rate were observed in the si-TKTL1+paclitaxel group compared with those in the negative si-TKTL1+paclitaxel and OC3/Tax300 + paclitaxel groups. Western blotting revealed that Bax and Caspase 3 proteins were up-regulated, whereas Bcl-2 expression was down-regulated. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed no changes in gst-π or mrp1 gene expression in the three groups, whereas GSH levels were reduced in the si-TKTL1 group as verified by metabolomics. TKTL1 inhibition also reduced tumor growth in vivo. Collectively, TKTL1 down-regulation sensitized paclitaxel-resistant OC3/Tax300 ovarian cancer cells to paclitaxel.

Keywords: Ovarian cancer; Paclitaxel resistance; RNA interference; Redox; TKTL1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacology*
  • Pentose Phosphate Pathway / drug effects
  • Transketolase / genetics*
  • Transketolase / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • TKTL1 protein, human
  • Transketolase
  • Paclitaxel